Is It Safe for My Parent to Live Alone?

Whether your parents are safe living alone or not depends on several factors: their overall mental and physical health, how socially active they are, and how far they are from family or other help. This is a highly personal question that everyone needs to ask and answer for themselves.

There are some general guidelines you can follow, though. Let us walk you through them.

Elderly woman looking out window.

Signs Your Parents Shouldn’t Live Alone

There are some signs that it may be time for your parents to move—whether that’s in with you or into a retirement community, assisted living facility, or nursing home.

  1. They Have Chronic Health Conditions: If your parents have health conditions that require a lot of specialized care, they may be better off in a nursing home with constant nursing help available.
  2. They Are Isolated or Feel Lonely: Isolation and loneliness are major problems that can decrease the quality of life for seniors living alone. If they are otherwise in good health, there are communities designed specifically for senior independent living, sometimes called retirement communities, that might be perfect for them.
  3. They Have Trouble Maintaining Basic Hygiene and Living Habits: As humans age, their ability to perform simple daily habits can decrease. They may struggle to get in and out of the shower or make meals. If that describes your parents, they are much more likely to thrive in an environment where they can receive that help regularly.

If your parents are experiencing any of these difficulties, it might be time to consider helping them move somewhere less isolating, where they can get the daily help and medical attention they need.

On the other hand, if your parents are in good health, socially active, and can take care of themselves, then senior independent living is possible.

Help for Seniors Living Alone

If your parents are still living alone, there are many things you can do to make sure things continue to go smoothly for them:

  1. Set up pharmacist or nurse consultations to help keep medications organized and on schedule.
  2. Set up a home security system to help ensure they stay safe on their own.
  3. Get them a pet to keep them company.

Even if your parent is elderly, living alone may still be important to them—it’s a sign of self-sufficiency that’s hard to let go. In that case, have a discussion about medical alert devices. They could be the key to your parents maintaining independence while staying safe.